U.S.-Japanese Space Relations at a Crossroads

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Science  17 Jan 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5042, pp. 294-300
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5042.294


The relations between Japan and the United States in space form a microcosm of the complex, multidimensional interactions between these two powerful societies. Cooperation and competition exist side by side, and the future balance between them is uncertain. The United States needs to develop a strategy with respect to future U.S.-Japanese space relations that balances national security, political, scientific, and economic interests. Crafting such a strategy is particularly difficult while both the United States and Japan debate the goals and content of their future space programs and while the two nations try to assess their broader interests and roles in the rapidly changing geopolitical environment. Essential to a productive approach to U.S.-Japanese space relations is an accurate understanding of the character and content of the Japanese space effort.